Abel Martinez

AMFT #113157
abel@mcaft.com 
(650) 297-3400 x 4
Supervised by Jaclyn Long, MFT #47100
Locations: Los Altos & San Jose 
Fee: $200



Specialties:

Child, Teen & Transitional Age: Depression, anxiety, perfectionism, emotional dysregulation, tantrums, maladaptive behaviors, substance use, peer challenges, bullying, isolation, ADHD, transition to adulthood fears, acculturation challenges 

Adult: Individual, couples, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, ADHD, anger/violence, acculturation challenges, male identity issues 

Modalities: 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Trauma Informed, Internal Family Systems (IFS) Informed, Play Therapy, Music Therapy Puppet Play, Family of Origin, Art Therapy, and Psychodrama 

Background: 

Throughout the last 26 years working in Mental Health, I have honed my skills in connecting with the most vulnerable of our society. My time with Uplift Children and Family Services provided me the opportunity to work with traumatized, children, teens & adults with severe behavioral challenges, as well as socioeconomic and generational trauma. My work with Refugee Foster Care and Family Reunification forged a gentle, trauma informed approach to therapy. I have also worked in psychiatric hospitals including Fremont Hospital and San Jose Behavioral Health, where I provided classes on Emotional Regulation and on using practical aspects of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy to help patients gain understanding and relief from anxiety, depression, and trauma. I recently taught a Parenting Without Violence Class with Parent Solutions, and have developed a Transforming Anger Class to continue to support all who need change in their lives. 

Much of my experience with modalities was gained in environments that were hands on. I have worked as residential staff in group homes and transitional housing programs. I have worked in psychiatric facilities and am very familiar with the gamut of behaviors that both children and adults demonstrate to show they are in pain, or have unmet needs. I have facilitated Anger Management classes for perpetrators of domestic violence and their victims; where my focus was to break the cycle of violence by letting go of guilt, and confronting negative automatic thoughts. I was a Special Education Teacher from 1997 to 2004. With children, I find it helpful to sit on the floor with them, at their level, to help build rapport and trust. With adolescents and adults, I come with a heart of mutual respect and acceptance. I share deep breathing exercises with clients, combining breathwork with healing energy and guided imagery. 

When I worked in residential settings, I experienced extremely violent behavior from developmentally disabled adults and teens (biting, scratching, spitting, throwing chairs, brandishing knives, self-mutilation, and many other maladaptive behaviors). I do not scare easily and welcome clients with overt behavioral challenges. I have the ability to see through the outward expression of anger, and key in on the emotions that are driving the anger, such as guilt/shame, remorse, helplessness, and anxiety. 

I am thrilled to be a part of such a reputable organization, and I am excited to serve you in any way my skills can support you. 

Education and Training:

  • University of California Santa Cruz, 1995, BA Psychology, Specialized in Adolescent Psychology
  • Research Assistant, 1994 – 95, Margarita Azmitia,
  • MA in Counseling Psychology; John F. Kennedy University
  • CA AMFT #113157
  • Professional Assault Response Training, 1997 (for behavioral programs and psychiatric hospitals)
  • Crisis Prevention Intervention, 2019 & 2020, San Jose Behavioral Health/Fremont Psychiatric Hospital

Therapeutic Philosophy:

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” -Victor Frankl 

There is a light that shines brightly in us since birth. In it is goodness, strength, peace, love, and dignity. Sometimes challenging times make us forget that the light is still there. When we find the strength to allow it to shine in us, we find personal fulfillment and love. 

I believe I bring a supportive and relational style to my practice, working toward client goals, recognizing negative thought patterns, and supporting clients in achieving emotional harmony. I work to help people find their inner resiliency and to build healthy coping skills. I provide a supportive presence and a calm approach to therapy, helping people to recognize the light inside of them. 

I am a strong advocate for Social Justice and believe that all people deserve dignity and respect. I provide a safe and supportive environment to help clients recognize the dignity of self. I believe that everyone should have a choice to be who they want to be, and who they want to identify themselves as. 

What is most important to me is the client’s experience. A client’s life – the struggles, good times, successes, and failures – all are meaningful. The patterned emotions that have caused us to be stuck and the emotions that liberate us. These elements make up the intricate story of their lives. It is beautiful to witness internal acceptance and respect as I help guide them to their goals and help them lead a healthy and fulfilled life. 

About Me: 

My work is an integral part of my own self care plan. I also love to take road trips, meditate, pray, and practice inner body and mind work. I love to spend time with my wife and three teenage boys, and I enjoy the calmness of working with tools and creating things. I love to play and record music (percussion and guitar) and to read and write poetry.